Illinois Prairie District Library leaders scope out locations for new Metamora branch building

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METAMORA, Ill. (WMBD) — Leaders from the Illinois Prairie District Library said they’re scoping out locations for a new Metamora branch.

“I don’t think it’ll be a quick process,” said director Joel Shoemaker. “I don’t think we’ll have a new library tomorrow.”

Shoemaker said a new branch would better serve the community and give people more access to resources, too. The biggest challenge for the board right now is finding a place to build.

“Where in Metamora is there a location for this is what the board is discussing,” said Shoemaker.

The board is considering a building about 10,000 square feet, which requires approximately an acre of land, he said. A new building would give the branch, which also houses administration offices, more room and to do that, it could be leaving the Metamora Square.

“The big changes are programming space and event space [and] places for people to tutor,” said Shoemaker.

Circulation Manager Peggy Bockler said the branch is a big community resource.

“There is a lot to offer with movies and magazines. It’s not just books anymore,” said Bockler.

Nearly a lifelong library card holder, Bockler said she has worked there for 14 years, which gives it sentimental value.

“I would love it for it to stay here on the square for nostalgia [and] walkability. [But,] I do understand that there’s not room to put it up here on the square,” said Bockler.

Shoemaker said a majority of people in Metamora approved a move.

“We put out a community survey and the overwhelming response was ‘I’m okay with any location.’ More than half of the people stated that” he said.

The new building’s potential for community spaces, rooms, and more is being met with enthusiasm.

“We do have a lot of community interest which is exciting, too. It would be one thing if people were like ‘Meh, I’m not interested,'” said Shoemaker.

Shoemaker also said the planning process is in its early stages. Once a location is chosen, an architect will study it and form plans.

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